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August 31, 2015


Aziz Ansari: The ODB of 'Parks and Recreation'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 24th 2010 7:02PM
Aziz AnsariAziz Ansari has had the kind of career you'd expect to see from a guy who's 35 or so, not from someone who's only four years out of business school.

The 26-year-old comedian's profile has risen quickly over the last couple of years. From being an up-and-coming stand-up star playing the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, the last three years have seen him do two seasons of MTV's 'Human Giant,' a half-season as lazy intern Ed on the eighth season of 'Scrubs,' a big role as awful stand-up comic Randy in Judd Apatow's 'Funny People,' a one-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central, and a season and a half as Tom Haverford on 'Parks and Recreation.'

I caught up with Ansari at NBC's all-star press party last month and asked him about how his character, who plays the scheming right-hand man of the earnest Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), has developed since the show started, and what's next for a guy who's done a lot in such a short period of time.

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Sketch Comedy Saturday: Upright Citizens Brigade

by Annie Wu, posted May 30th 2009 11:55PM
UCB It's summer time and I can see you sketch comedy nerds are starting to get the shakes from Saturday Night Live withdrawal. No worries, I've got some goodness to feed your short attention span and sketch comedy needs.

Here's a program that every self-proclaimed comedy fan should know. From 1998 to 2000, the Upright Citizens Brigade television series ran for three seasons on Comedy Central, developing a solid cult following. The four stars, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Amy Poehler wrote and starred in the series, playing just about all the characters and giving us gems like Ass Pennies, Spaghetti Jesus and little Girl Scout Cassie.

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Colbert reports live tonight at UCB Theatre New York

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 3rd 2007 11:41AM

With the strike still in full effect, new episodes of The Colbert Report won't be coming to Comedy Central anytime soon. So Colbert and the cast are moving the production to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City for one show tonight. Just as 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live did before him, Colbert is bringing his "No-Spin Zone" to a sold out crowd.

Advance reservations are sold out, but there will be a standby line. No word on if there will be any guests, nor if Colbert will be performing "classic" bits or new material, though if he follows directly in the footprints of Rock and SNL, there won't be any new written material. But Colbert is a gifted comedian, so surely he can't be penalized by the Guild for ad-libbing some stuff. "Tonight on The Colbert Report, we investigate what the hell happened to my cameras, and where all these people came from."

[via PopCandy]

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Comedy Death Ray blasts comedians into new mediums

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 31st 2007 1:30PM

comedy death rayHere's some great news for you fanatics of the UCB/Comedy Central brand of "alternative" comedy: Comedy Death Ray, the popular Los Angeles comedy show, is coming to you in Web and audio form. The first CD (double CD!), produced through Comedy Central Records, will feature the likes of Patton Oswalt (King of Queens, Comedians of Comedy), Maria Bamford (Comedians of Comedy), David Cross (Mr. Show, Arrested Development) and Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Show, Best Week Ever). The album will consist of footage from the live show taped at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles and at the SF Sketchfest in San Francisco. It will come out this summer.

Comedy Death Ray will also produce shorts for the comedy broadband site Super Deluxe, including a comedic soap opera called "Lake Charles Lake."

You can read all about the new ventures on this thread over at A Special Thing, which also includes some insight from Comedy Death Ray co-creator Scott Aukerman, who developed the show five years ago with fellow actor and comedian BJ Porter.

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Upright Citizens Brigade DVD Update

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 9th 2007 1:36PM
Matt BesserLast weekend, the original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade filmed four shows in LA for an upcoming DVD release from Shout! Factory. In an interview with The Coming, UCB member Matt Besser recapped the shows' highlights and announced that this may be the start of an actual DVD comedy label for UCB. Expect to see excerpts from the group's ASSSSCAT improv performances and sets from monologists Paul F. Tompkins, Tom Lennon and Kate Walsh on the DVDs.

Another interesting TV-related tidbit from the interview. Besser has been cast as Kayne West's chauffeur in the rapper's new show in development with HBO. Besser has spent the past month coaching Kayne in improv. Kayne doing improv? Looks like West may be vying for the title of hip-hop comedy king. Shouldn't be too hard to steal from Snoop "Doggy Fizzle Televizzle" Dogg.

Read the full interview at The Coming.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love David Koechner - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 23rd 2007 5:20PM

David KoechnerDear David Koechner,

They say the only thing more romantic than love at first sight is love at third or fourth sight -- at least I think they say that, but whatever, it's true. What I'm trying to say, David Koechner, is that I've grown to admire you over the years. It's not a romantic or a sexual love, more like the love a man has for a tall frosty mug of beer, or the tasty flesh of a small calf cooked over the flaming remains of its own mother. It's a manly love I feel for you, D.K.

I'll admit I didn't quite understand you at first. When you were on Saturday Night Live I thought you were just another comedian who considered nonsensical ranting and facial contortions a viable substitute for comedy. I was wrong, David Koechner, and I should have realized that by your participation in those "Bill Brasky" sketches, which are among some of my favorite SNL sketches of all time (video clip after the jump).

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Original UCB members reunite for DVD

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 23rd 2007 4:43PM
UCB original membersThe four original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade - Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser and Matt Walsh - are reuniting to tape their signature ASSSSCAT improv show for a DVD release by Shout! Factory. Other early UCB-ers are expected to participate, including Chad Carter, Sean Conroy, Andrew Daly and Horatio Sanz. If you live outside of New York or Los Angeles, you may remember Comedy Central's televised version of UCB from their 1998 to 2000 run. Maybe this will jog your memory:

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